Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Linda Lines, South West GSD Rescue

I heard this morning that a dear friend passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in the night.

I don't know the details, and in any case they seem somehow inconsequential against the tragedy of the news. My thoughts are with her husband Bob and her daughter Lisa. I can't begin to fathom their shock and grief.

Linda Lines was young, a mere 51 years old. The news has left us all completely stunned.

I first met Linda in June 2012 in the car-park of a motorway service station. She handed over to our care a dog, a white German Shepherd bitch called Bojangles that my wife, Nikki, had agreed somewhat against my protests that we'd foster for the dog rescue Linda ran.

Sadly, things didn't work out between us and Bojangles so, within a week, I was driving the 132 miles back down the motorway to Linda's house in Bideford to take Bojangles back, certain and quite comfortable in the thought that I'd given Nikki a fair crack a this foster and rescue thing and had proven it just wasn't going to work for us. The plan was to hand Bo's lead back over to Linda at her door and head straight back home.

We got there, and Lin remarked how it had been such a long drive, we must've been tired, we'd really have to come in for a quick coffee before heading back.

A couple of hours later we were, indeed, on our way back. Buster was in the car with us.

I honestly can't count the foster dogs that passed through our home over the next couple of years after that, although I could tell you all their names and loved and love them all still. The photos of the dogs that accompany this post are only the ones that stayed.

The photo at the head of this post was one of a set taken some years before we met Lin, and is a copy of a photo I've seen on her living room wall. I've stolen it from her Facebook profile without permission and without too much shame, because it is just so the picture of her.

It was our absolute privilege to work with Lin and support her Rescue over the relatively brief but undeniably intense period Nik and I were directly involved. Her grit, dedication and determination to have created such a life's work and to have made such an undeniable difference and mark upon so many other lives is truly unfathomable.

If this is the measure of a life, then there has been a giant amongst us.

And she will be sorely missed.

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